Being able to build your own home from the ground up gives the property owner a certain level of customization that pre-built homes just can’t. The reason for the demand behind this is the chance to establish one’s very own dream home, a home where every aspect of the property is to the owner’s liking.

Building your own home, however, is easier said than done. Apart from the logistical side of it, there are also financial matters you should familiarize yourself with. From hiring a contractor to securing the needed permits and purchasing building materials, there are a number of things an owner has to spend on. It is important that these are accounted for, to ensure you incur no extra or unnecessary expense.

Q: How Much Are the Costs of Building a House?

A: The 2016 Construction Cost Handbook of construction consultancy services provider Langdon & Seah Philippines Inc., states that the cost of building a house often varies on the type and size. For example, terraced houses and average standard homes (one to two bedrooms) are often priced between Php25,700 and Php31,000 per square meter. Detached houses and high-end residences, on the other hand, are along the lines of  Php53,900 and Php63,150 per square meter. However, these values, according to Langdon & Seah, are already inclusive of the expenses for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services.

What are the Permits and Other Paperwork Needed to Build a House?

A: Not only do you have to be familiar with the materials and labor needed for building a home, you also have to take into consideration the number of permits needed for your project to push through. According to Eric Madrinan, a civil engineer in the business of building and selling properties, the most common permits needed in building a house are:

  • Architectural Plan– a plan that will be used as a reference in the construction of the house. This is provided by your chosen contractor.
  • Barangay Permit– a permit from the barangay that has jurisdiction over the area you’ve chosen, which you will also need your neighbors to sign.
  • Building Permit– Once you’ve secured the Barangay Permit, you will present it to the city hall together with the Architectural Plan to secure the Building Permit, which is needed for you to start home construction.
  • Occupancy Permit– When construction is finished, you’ll also need to secure an Occupancy Permit, which signifies that a licensed building surveyor is satisfied with the completed building work and that the new home is indeed suitable for occupation.

Using the Building Plan to Estimate the Cost

If you want to have a more realistic cost when building your house, you can look at the final plan and designs you established for the project. This is because the costs of the project may also depend on these variables, on top of the previously mentioned price range per total floor area:

  • Type of finish– Standard to elegant. According to Mr. Madrinan, a standard finish can cost about Php14,000 or more, while an elegant finish costs upward of Php30,000.
  • Timetable– Construction was done in a rush would typically require more manpower than what is commonly needed to meet the shortened construction timetable.
  • Lot location– If the location of your lot is lower than the road and would require the land being filled, this would expectedly be an addition to the cost.

Using the Projected Budget to Create a More Specific Budget

The initial budget can help you make a plan and give yourself a better idea of how much the house is really going to cost. For example, if you already have money set aside and know exactly how much you are willing to spend on building your dream house, it would be advisable to provide your budget outright to your contractor or architect.

Having said this, they are now able to design your house plans, prepare the technical specifications and bill of materials, and reach the final project cost. When all the parties are in agreement and all the previously mentioned building permits are secured, the construction contract can then be executed and the construction phase of your dream house will begin.

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